TRACK by TRACK: Past Selves by Sub-Radio

I discovered Sub-Radio a few weeks ago, when the Instagram algorithms suggested I might like a reel where the band ‘covers’ “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. I won’t say parody because their version “I Don’t Wanna Dance with Nobody” is the embodiment of my introvert self.

Sub-Radio immediately hooked me – the vocals were clean and vibrant and the music just as much. Bonus, it was great seeing a band having fun and not taking themselves too serious. (Hint to artists, unless you are portraying a character with your music persona, as a music fan, it’s always great to see a relaxed side of the artist.)

I am well aware that as I write this, Sub-Radio is working on new material as they have stated on their socials, but I’m still going to review their February 2023 EP, Past Selves, because goddamn it’s great.

Sub-Radio is Adam Bradley on vocals, Matt Prodanovich on guitar, John Fengya on keys and guitar, Michael Pereira on drums, and Kyle Cochran on guitar and keys. 

Yes, that’s 3 guitars and no bass listed per the band’s website, but one of these guys or maybe all of them absolutely plays bass or at least bass notes because there are some slick and catchy rumblings of bass within Past Selves.

Since my first introduction to the band was through their reel, I was a bit nervous to hit play on the opening track “1990something”

Would the song be similar to the vibrant and fun sounds I had heard on the reel or would it be the complete opposite.

Might have given a ‘fuck yeah’ when the vocals and claps started in the song. The song was everything I wanted it to be. The lyrics, especially the chorus, are catchy, fun and who doesn’t love a good clap-along-song? There’s a wonderful balance of keys, guitars, and drums and there is this beautiful bass line that slides right underneath it all and it allows the band to teeter back and forth between the rock-pop vibe and anthem-esque sing-along. There’s also an ease to Adam’s vocals. Whether he’s hitting the higher, perhaps falsetto notes, or singing at his normal register, there’s no sense of stress to his vocal chords.

Like its predecessor, “Everything I Had” continues the fun. There are two things I love about this song. One is the bass. The bass lines and bass drums are chef’s kiss. Not only do they bring the rock, they bring the dance beats. The second thing I love about this song are the lyrics. The simplicity of them betrays the deeper meaning of wanting the past good times back in your life. Who doesn’t. Their line “like a Kerouac daydream” makes me curious to know if they truly understand and relate to Kerouac or is he just a lyrical crutch to a high energy song. Either way, the song is everything I want in a rock-pop song – bass lines and bass drums I can dance to and lyrics I can sing-along to while I dance my butt off.

“Wait a Minute” is longing for something more than a hook up and it’s such a bop. This is one of the poppier songs on the EP. There’s more slap in the guitar, more thump in the bass, and groovy drum beat. There’s an 80’s feel to the song that makes it hooky and catchy.

By now, anyone who has read anything on this site regularly knows, bass has my heart. Be it bass guitar or bass drums and the bass riffs are my favourite thing about “Waste Your TIme”. This song would be the “break” in a live set. It’s more down tempo than the previous tracks and allows the listener to just catch their breath.

Then just as the lungs are feeling refreshed, “Really Over” slaps one on the back and shoves them back into the dance party. This song has a groovalicious bass riff, booty shaking drum beats, smooth guitar riffs, vivacious lyrics which are at times comical (“but I would rather get drinks with your new man”), and high energy vocals.

Past Selves by Sub-Radio is an action packed EP that’s filled with catchy beats, sticky lyrics, and fun. It’s music that you can bop or dance to.

MUST LISTEN TRACKS: “1990something”, “Everything I Had” “Really Over”

FAVOURITE TRACK: “Everything I Had”

The song that hooked me